Today’s Must Have Monday is not about a product. I have several things that we use that I want to share with you, but both kids are requiring A LOT of attention and I haven’t had time to take any photos yet. So instead I’m going to share something that I have learned as a Mom and has really been put to the test recently.
The Mommy Mindset
This is what keeps me sane. Well some of the time. Mostly I’m a nutcase, but I really do try!
I have found that if I completely change my mindset on most aspects of being a parent I am able to better handle what life throws my way.
Let me provide some examples.
Trying to Get Out The Door….
If I accept that I unorganized, my life is a mess, and I am going to forget a billion things when we are trying to get out the door and that I am going to have to run up and down the stairs a million times I find that I don’t get as frustrated. I generally joke to myself about how good it is that I am getting some exercise.
Now you might say, “Tracy, Why don’t you plan to leave earlier so that you aren’t as rushed or perhaps pack the car the night before while the children are sleeping? Or better yet, wake up an hour earlier and get it all done before they wake up!” Ha ha ha, yeah sure, and while I’m at it I will figure out how to turn crap into gold and become a millionaire! That is NEVER going to happen.
Life is Messy and So Are My Kids
I try not to sweat the small stuff. Emphasis on try! Toddlers are messy, especially my toddler. Yet! With this “altered” mindset I’m able to let Noah paint, in the house no less. (It actually turned into fingerpainting) All because I understand ahead of time that he is going to make a mess. I just buy washable paints and have a big box of wipes nearby. This way we can both have fun!
Sleeping Like a Baby….
This weekend I started getting Bryce to sleep in his crib during the day. This means that I was going to have to go into his room and give him his binky or soothe him roughly 5-10 times per nap and he naps about 5 times a day right now. You do the math. I joked to Eric during the 2nd or 3rd nap that I was going to have a killer ass from running up and down the stairs so many times.
And, when Bryce was just born and he was waking up multiple times a night, I just had to remind myself each time I went to sleep that I was probably going to be back up in 2’ish hours. That way if he just happened to sleep 3 or 4 hours I pleasantly surprised.
I’m Not Smart Enough To Come Up With This On My Own
A parenting book I recently read, Making the Terrible Two’s Terrific, by John Rosemond, recommended something similar to this. He said:
If you understand why two-year-olds act the way they do, there’s no reason to become either intimidated or angry. Understanding enables acceptance. If you accept it, then this, too, will pass.
So if I understand that toddlers have horrible memories and limited cognitive development, it will be easier to answer the EXACT SAME QUESTION 20 times a day. Right? Well that’s mostly true.
This change of mindset doesn’t always work. But I can definitely say that it has increased my patience with my children, and life in general, an amazing amount. I found that when I was losing my patience or becoming irritable it was because I was expecting too much from the situation. I’m not saying we should lower our expectations or ignore bad behaviors, but maybe we are asking more than our children are actually capable at the time. By understanding this we are able to stay calm and address the situation. If Noah throws his food I’m not going to yell at him, but I’m definitely not going to ignore it. He will go sit in time out and he will be upset, but Eric and I will be in a much better mood and it won’t ruin dinner.
I guess I did know about this before I read Dr. Rosemond’s book, I had just had yet to apply it to parenting. My favorite prayer of all time has always been The Serenity Prayer. (Check out this link, the prayer is much longer than these three lines and very beautiful.)
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I’m working on a post that will explain why The Mommy Mindset is so important to me right now. I have been having some trouble with my patience lately and I’m finally figuring out why. More on that later.
Hope this helps all you Mom’s out there. I think it applies from birth on through those teenage years (maybe especially so) and sometimes beyond!